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Print 22 comment(s) - last by TomZ.. on Jun 5 at 9:01 PM

Jack PC, the size of a wall outlet, albeit Europeon

There was a time when PCs were large, heavy, solid steel towers that were heavier than the typical monitor. Those days are long gone and PCs have gotten insanely small. Jade Integration, a British firm is expected to launch new PCs the size of a wall outlet -- the Jack PC. These aren’t your typical PCs used for playing games or typing up documents though. It’s designed for low power consumption, small size and runs Windows CE. A basic Internet Explorer 6.0 web browser is installed to surf the web or use web-driven applications.

The Jack PC isn’t really meant to operate on its own though. In a network environment it can connect to terminal servers using integrated Citrix ICA and Microsoft RDP clients. This will give the Jack PC greater functionality than just surfing the internet which makes it a great KIOSK or thin-client—a market VIA targets with the EPIA mini ITX and nano ITX system boards.

Thin-client and KIOSK systems thrive on low power consumption as everything is ran remotely on servers. The Jack PC has impressive power consumptions at around 5 watts for the whole system compared to a mini ITX based system at around 40-50 watts. Low power consumption is achieved by using not-so-spectacular hardware. An AMD RISC processor is used to keep power consumption low. There’s no mention of which AMD processor is used but it’s highly likely an AMD Alchemy Au1200 is used. Several speed grades will be available up to 500 MHz. Judging by the available Alchemy Au1200 speed grades, expect 333 MHz, 400 MHz, and 500 MHz models.

As far as storage and system memory goes, the Jack PC is equipped with 64 MB of flash memory for the OS and applications, and 128MB of DDR system memory. The Jack PC will be available in three models: the Jack PC EFI 6700, 6800, and 6900. Jack PC EFI 6700 and 6800 models are most likely come in 333 MHz and 400 MHz variants while the EFI 6900 will probably come with a 500 MHz processor. All Jack PCs have support for analog monitors, audio output, microphone input, and four USB ports. Video output is limited to 1280x1024 and 24-bit color which is adequate for a touch screen LCD or regular LCD.

Pricing is expected to be around £209, £279 and £349 or $390 to 660 USD for the Jack PC EFI 6700, EFI 6800, and EFI 6900 respectively.



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hmm
By ksherman on 6/4/2006 5:51:00 PM , Rating: 2
quite impressive...




RE: hmm
By Dev17 on 6/4/2006 6:08:53 PM , Rating: 2
Imagine in a few years when the power of these have improved and they can be used for web processing and playing media files they would be small enough to plug into a wall socket anywhere.Or imagine having one of those in every room and they connect wirelessly to your tablet PC.


RE: hmm
By ksherman on 6/4/2006 9:25:32 PM , Rating: 2
indeed... I think schools will be able to make pretty good use of these, esp. when they become more powerful.


Ah...
By rupaniii on 6/4/2006 6:48:30 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, apparently didn't finish the article. Yes, quite appropriate (sleep deprived here). This seems somewhat more powerful than a PDA Phone and or a Palm/Organizer. What I could use this for is an 'Anywhere Terminal'. I could allow a user to plug in a thumb drive which has their local environment and get the compnents from the network. In addition, should I run a lightweight client (yes, Linux will be sought after to put on here), the thoughts of what are possible with a lightweight X environment on this are quite interesting indeed.
Of highest interest to me is just network available and high reliablility medical screening terminals. There are very good purposes for this product.




RE: Ah...
By rupaniii on 6/4/2006 6:51:28 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently, these fellows made it

http://www.chippc.com/


RE: Ah...
By GGA1759 on 6/4/2006 6:58:27 PM , Rating: 2
What gave you the first clue? :D


damned impressive
By johnsonx on 6/5/2006 12:50:39 AM , Rating: 2
that's all i can say... damned impressive.




RE: damned impressive
By johnsonx on 6/5/2006 1:03:51 AM , Rating: 2
Have a look at this page:

http://www.jadeintegration.com/jackpc.php

Very cool stuff.


RE: damned impressive
By johnsonx on 6/5/2006 4:57:25 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, and for the record, this is wrong:

quote:
There’s no mention of which AMD processor is used but it’s highly likely an AMD Alchemy Au1200 is used.


From the link I mentioned above, it's actually an AMD Au1550, available in 333Mhz and 500Mhz speeds.


Large Corporations will eat this up.
By Quasmo on 6/5/2006 1:46:37 AM , Rating: 2
When I worked at Staples, we used these horrible Windows CE PC's. So when these are released they will save space, and it will make things more oriented towards customers considering how clean these are.




Where's the ethernet jack?
By Muirgheasa on 6/5/2006 5:07:50 AM , Rating: 2
Where's the ethernet jack? I would assume it's mounted on the back, but does that not limit it to corporate enviornments where they will be professionaly installed? Strikes me that it leaves it a little less than useful for home use. Still, I suppose that's not really the point, but maybe a point in favour of Via's Mini/nano-itx?


RE: Where's the ethernet jack?
By Kuroyama on 6/5/2006 10:48:53 AM , Rating: 2
These things run on power over ethernet, presumably via ethernet cables run inside the walls, so there's no reason to have an ethernet port in the front.


Hey, Larry
By rupaniii on 6/4/2006 6:44:05 PM , Rating: 2
Has anyone called Larry Ellison yet?
Oracle has tried and tried again.
This looks like a REAL NetPC to me. Nice job. With a small security patch around it should serve businesses quite well. What's the MHZ, is it appropriate for local content?




RE: Hey, Larry
By Goty on 6/4/2006 11:49:27 PM , Rating: 2
Supposedly it's a 500MHz RISC processor.


I know where this is perfect
By creathir on 6/5/2006 1:12:31 AM , Rating: 2
Okay, an idea I have been wanting to implement in my kitchen for a LONG time would be a touchscreen, in a cabinet, for either surfing the 'net, displaying video content, or most importently, pulling up recipes. All you would have to do is mount the touchscreen in the cabinet, and one of these little guys on the back wall... you instantly have a PC that can do these things, on top of the cabinet is not wasted by a clunky computer...
Great idea this company has had...
- Creathir




By bldckstark on 6/5/2006 12:46:40 PM , Rating: 2
Creathir,
I like the kitchen idea, but how would you implement input? Not having a keyboard and/or a mouse makes it a PIA to input addresses. When I program touchscreens for the manufacturing machinery I build, I create a "favorites" menu that is programmable by the user so they can get to wherever they go most with just two touches. That way I am not guessing where they will spend the most time, and they get some ownership in the machine. When surfing the web the addresses are such a PIA to put in that you would have to have a keyboard handy (hunt and peck on a touchscreen sucks, and people of different heights may have an accuracy problem). I guess what I am saying is, if you have to have a keyboard, you could just mount the monitor, remote the box, and use a 100m bluetooth usb adapter for the keyboard.

Sorry, the original question was, how are you going to implement user input?

BTW, they make cabinet mounted PC's with touchscreens now, in case you haven't seen them, but they are expensive ($4k).


"europeon"?
By slashbinslashbash on 6/5/2006 11:08:02 AM , Rating: 2
Somebody got a grudge against Europeans?




RE: "europeon"?
By TomZ on 6/5/2006 9:01:57 PM , Rating: 2
LOL - good catch!


PDA Like
By mosesa5050 on 6/4/2006 11:21:40 PM , Rating: 1
This just seems like a PDA put into an outlet thing with video, sound and some usb ports (and obviously no screen). Its pretty cool, but not that impressive in terms of its size. so would you just connect it to a network then?




RE: PDA Like
By mosesa5050 on 6/4/2006 11:23:19 PM , Rating: 2
its pretty impress that it only takes 5 watts to run, thou.


Not all that impressive
By Egglick on 6/5/2006 11:42:38 AM , Rating: 2
For $400-700, you certainly don't get very much. For that price, you could built a Mini-ITX system with several times the power, and several thousand times the storage space.

The only situation I see these terminals being useful in, is when extremely small size or extremely low power is of the utmost necessity. A PalmPCs or maybe a car navigation system is about all I can think of off the top of my head.




PC World Top 25...
By Lord Evermore on 6/5/06, Rating: 0
"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay











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